L7 and Frightwig in SF Aug. 28th # The Regency Ballroom!

L7-Frightwig

Reviews of L7 show at the Regency Ballroom 8/28/15:

“Opening the show was the quintessential San Francisco punk rock band Frightwig, who once again proved to be the perfect choice to open the show, just as when they played with Faith No More a few months earlier. Led by the thundering bass tone of Deanna Mitchell, the glorious noisy guitar of Mia Simmans, and the pounding drumming of Cecilia Kuhn, the band put on a set of songs that surely had more than a few old schoolers in the crowd flash back to see the band tear up the On Broadway, Mabuhay Gardens or the Tool and Dieback in the day.

National Rock Review photographer Raymond Ahner was on hand to report.” – National Rock Review


“Last night TEENAGE NEWS caught Frightwig at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. It was a perfect show that no true “Punk” shoulda missed. Frightwig are original gangsters, the true pioneers behind the Riot Grrrl Movement. Their debut album “Cat Farm Faboo” gives Punk a knockout punch and establishes Girl-Art.

TEENAGE NEWS doesn’t give half a shit what you think, Frightwig is San Francisco’s most ferocious and talented band. It is time to bow down or die.

Frightwig’s set was too short… They should have headlined the gig; the crowd was left salivating and begging for more. The band is tight and better than ever. Don’t miss them because you need your life changed. They give you salvation, and (most likely) will absolve you of your sins.

Last night, Frightwig played most of their hits, and even if you don’t know their songs their hooks force you to sing along.

…Mia absorbs the underground of her being, and shreds her guitar harder than heavy metal and faster than Punk. Holy cow… her guitar makes so many different noises in every song you think she is playing three guitars at once. You can catch her regularly at San Francisco Farmer’s Markets. Don’t miss it! Support “local,” damnit.

Frightwig is intimidating. They use their knowledge from the past to be combative in the future. Frightwig puts you in Space where you are free from Control. Don’t forget: they are San Francisco’s most ferocious and talented band.” – Teenage News


“…How appropriate then that these metallic-punk heroines got support from San Francisco’s own Frightwig. Coming up with the rest of the city’s punks in the early ’80s, the (mostly) female band morph from punka-boogie to psychedelic garage pop to arty spoken-word. The members swapped instruments just as easily, as when drummer Cecilia Lynch-Kuhn got up from her drum set to sing “I’ll Talk To You And Smile,” ostensibly about a child molester whose victim later becomes a prostitute. Gesticulating wildly as she groan-sang “I know what you did ….” the bizarrest moment was the outro where Lynch-Kuhn signed the lyrics as if to a hearing-impaired audience. Whatever the symbolism, some could relate. Later on, according to L7’s Finch – a one-time SF resident with former roommate Courtney Love – “[Frightwig] got me through some really hard times.” – SF Weekly

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Frightwig Freakfest at Folsom Street Fair Sept. 21 2014!

Frightwig @ Folsom St. Fest 2014. photos by Barry Barbour-Duncan.

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Frightwig is touring the East coast in September with Jane Lee Hooker!

Mon 9/8 – Brooklyn, NY – The Knitting Factory
Tues 9/9 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
Weds 9/10 – Long Branch, NJ – The Brighton Bar
Fri 9/12 – Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar
Sat 9/13 – Wash DC – We Are Women Constitution Day Rally,
West Lawn, Capitol Building


Haven’t heard of Frightwig? Here is their Herstory:

Birthed in 1982 by Deanna Mitchell and Mia d’Bruzzi, Frightwig invented the template for the Riot-grrl phenomenon that followed over a decade later. Funny, funky and furious, Frightwig produced the full-length albums Cat Farm Faboo (Subterranean Records 1984) and Faster Frightwig Kill Kill (Caroline Records 1986), as well as the EP Phone Sexy (Boner Records 1988). The first two LPs were re-released as the double album Wild Women Never Die… (Southern Records 1994).
Frightwig has widely been credited as one of the most original, intense and fearless feminist bands by musicians, critics and fans alike.

After taking a hiatus from live performance, Frightwig has now returned with a vengeance to the center stage. Presenting an all-star line-up which features founding members Deanna Mitchell (the Mouthiest Woman Alive) on bass, “they broke the mold” Mia d’Bruzzi on guitar and secret weapon “Saint” Cecilia Kuhn on drums. Frightwig has taken a man into the fold, this is the legendary Eric Drew Feldman who has recorded, performed, produced and toured with Captain Beefheart, Snakefinger, Frank Black, Pere Ubu, PJ Harvey and Knife & Fork amongst others. Frightwig has never sounded better.

Check out Frightwig’s new video “War On Women” on YouTube, released July 2014. Which will be available as a self-released vinyl 7” along with the new song “Hear What I Say,” and will be distributed by MRI Entertainment on 9/16/2014

Poster Wig JLH East Coast-2014 for web email 8.3.14

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Frightwig Are Pleased To Announce Distribution Deal with MRI Entertainment

WOWCoverFrightwig release their War On Women/Hear What I Say Limited Edition 7” vinyl 45. The all-star line-up features founding members Deanna Mitchell on bass/vocals, Mia d’Bruzzi on guitar/vocals and secret weapon Cecilia Kuhn on drums/vocals, who are joined by the legendary Eric Drew Feldman on magical keyboards/vocals! 

Release Date 9/16/2014. Produced by Eric Drew Feldman, the two songs are presented in the only way that Frightwig knows how: rocking, snarling, blasting, prowling, and honest.

Frightwig has returned with a vengeance to the center stage.


 

‘More valid in today’s world than the one in which they created all things riot.
Frightwig are a wallop of power and love and smarts and sexy, all in the way only a city like San Francisco can deliver.’

– Roddy Bottom Imperial Teen/Faith No More

“Hallelujah Brothers and Sisters! Frightwig is back and bringing their rock and roll message of freedom and empowerment to all.
I’ve borne witness to this revival and it is a glorious thing to behold. Long live Frightwig!”

– Steven McDonald, of Redd Kross & OFF!

“What fool said there are no second acts in American lives? Frightwig, the great femme-psych band of the pre-grunge, pre-grrrl Haties,
are back with their wits, talons, and riffs as sharp as ever, ready to shred the lies and liars of the, sadly, still-raging war on women.”

– Evelyn McDonnell, Writer/Author

 

 

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Tom Tom Magazine: Q & A with Frightwig’s Cecilia Kuhn

Q & A with Frightwig’s Cecilia Kuhn

Posted  by 

By Jeanne Fury

Frightwig are the reigning mothers of feminist punk in America, whose wildly unrestrained performances heavily influenced everyone from Courtney Love to Kathleen Hanna. Formed by bassist/singer Deanna Mitchell (née Ashley) and guitarist/singer Mia d’Bruzzi (née Levin) in San Francisco in the early ’80s, Frightwig delivered two undisputed punk classics early in their career: 1984’s Cat Farm Faboo and 1986’s Faster, Frightwig, Kill! Kill!. Their music pounced on gender politics with gusto; songs like “My Crotch Does Not Say ‘Go’” and “A Man’s Gotta Do What A Man’s Gotta Do” were both deadly sinister and outrageously hilarious—two adjectives that, not coincidentally, describe Frightwig’s drummer/singer/instigator Cecilia Kuhn.

After a much too long break from stirring up shit, Mitchell, d’Bruzzi, Kuhn, and new addition Eric Drew Feldman (keyboardist/producer) recently reformed and delivered an EP, Hit Return, in December 2013, and are releasing a 45 this summer through Megaforce Records.

Here’s Kuhn on drumming, feminism, and the true definition of punk.

Stats

Full Name: Cecilia Benedicta Kuhn

Age: 58

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Lives in: Downieville, CA

Past Bands: various garage bands

Current Band: Frightwig

Day Job: court clerk

Kit Setup: borrowed Rogers kit, snare, kick, 2 toms, 1 floor tom; 2 crash and 1 ride cymbal, plus hi-hat.

Tom Tom Magazine: What was it about the drums that you gravitated toward, and how did you first start drumming?

Cecilia Kuhn: It was something I never admitted, but I liked the sexual energy of a good beat. All of my favorite songs when I was growing up had a strong rhythm. I’m thinking of songs like “Wild Thing” by the Troggs, “Magic Carpet Ride” by Steppenwolf, and “Amos Moses” by Jerry Reed. Those songs could just GET me. However, I came to drumming by sheer whim.

I was working at a crap job and feeling very disillusioned with my life. Thank Gods for discontent, because it can be a great motivator. I was sitting there, contemplating my boring life and flying into L.A. I looked out the window as we were landing, and I said, “Fuck this, I’m learning drums.” I started drum lessons soon after that. Playing drums just seemed like a good antidote to the stupid life I was leading. Little did I know what a major decision that was.

I feel like you’re one of those musicians that undergoes a transformation onstage. You tap into an otherworldly power source. Can you describe what that’s like?

Back in the old days, I was always angry. We have a song (“Punk Rock Jail Bait”/“I’ll Talk To You & Smile”) where I come out from behind the drums and sing out front. I basically melt down. Back in the day, when I blew up onstage, I was actually experiencing the anger. Frankly, I think I was trying too hard back then. Today, I am in a contented place, and I’m not angry like I used to be. When I blow up onstage now, I don’t have to try too hard. In fact, I’m not trying at all. I’m remembering what that energy feels like, and I draw it up and experience it.

As a drummer in a pioneering feminist band, how were you received by your (presumably mostly male) peers?

Back then, I definitely used to get guys “complimenting” me, saying that I played real well for a girl. Meaning, I didn’t play better than any of the guys. There seems to be an automatic comparison or competition going on, and some people feel like it’s real important that I understand my place in the hierarchy.

Going to music stores was very intimidating, as the sales clerks would ignore me or almost challenge me when I tried to buy equipment. It was a strange thing. I’m in there to spend money, but capitalism seemed to fade in importance. Making their point that I was just a girl became more important than making their sale. It made no sense. Apparently patriarchy overrules capitalism.

I remember one time, I went into a big chain (the name rhymes with Sitar Renter) and I needed to buy sticks for the gig that night. The sales clerk was talking to his friend, another drummer. They were doing some competitive dick-waving and talking about recordings they’d done. They talked like this for a LONG TIME while I stood there, waiting. I was completely ignored.

Finally, I said, “You know, whenever I want to FEEL LIKE SHIT, I know I can come here. I wanna buy some sticks ’cause I’M PLAYING TONIGHT.” They stared at me like dogs looking at a snake.

Were you ever discouraged, or was the punk scene supportive of you and your band?

Generally speaking, Frightwig was not always well-received by audiences, but other bands were supportive. When people loved us, oh man, they just loved us! When we toured with the Butthole Surfers, it was a dream come true. They and their audiences totally understood us. But when we opened for hardcore bands, it seems the kids just did not have a sense of humor. “PLAY FASTER!” That’s all we heard. I remember opening for TSOL in Santa Cruz. Everyone was standing around, sullen, with their arms crossed. In between songs, Deanna yelled, “Is everybody having FUN?!!??” Someone answered, “We will when you get off.”

Today, some people think that punk equals hardcore only, and their focus is narrow. There’s a lot of ghettoization of the music and not much cross-pollination like a long time ago. In the old days, punk was so many things. A night at the Mab [Mabuhay Gardens] would be a free-for-all. There was a lot of humor and fun. We had the philosophy of “IT’S PUNK BECAUSE WE SAY SO.” People could benefit from that philosophy today. My music is punk because I say so.

I saw you on a panel about female drummers at the Musicians for Equal Opportunities for Women conference, and you said, “I am not Omar Hakim. I am not the best drummer, but I’m the best drummer for Frightwig.” How did you cultivate that confidence and assuredness as a drummer?

It came out of experience. I don’t say it out of ego, I say it from knowledge of these complicated personalities in Frightwig. When I’m not there, it’s just different. When I wasn’t playing with Frightwig and they got other drummers, they missed me and felt the absence of my energy. Their recordings were great, really good, but there was a difference. When I play with Frightwig, it feels right, and I know there are certain things I contribute that no one else does. So yeah, I’m the best drummer for Frightwig. In addition, they’re the best for me. They know me. They have a certain humor and energy that I really like. I like playing with them, and I love to anticipate what they’ll do to make me laugh.

For me, the way to cultivate my confidence is through practice, studying theory, and writing music. I just hang in there. Don’t say no. Say yes.

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Stranger Recommended – Up & Coming Frightwig, It’s Ok!, Deep Creep

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 11.39.39 AMWhen Frightwig first entered my consciousness in the mid ’80s, they struck me as a female Butthole Surfers—which is a fine thing to be struck by. The San Francisco band’s 1984 debut album, Cat Farm Faboo, flared into rude action with a feral, blown-out blues-rock that flashed plenty of middle fingers to decorum and male chauvinism. Faster, Frightwig: Kill!! Kill!! built upon the band’s bravura rock insubordination, and the Russ Meyer allusion reinforced their badass attitude. Frightwig reformed in 2012 after an 18-year hiatus, and the current lineup features Deanna Mitchell, Mia d’Bruzzi, Cecilia Kuhn, Rebecca Sevrin, and… former Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band/Residents/Pere Ubu member Eric Drew Feldman. Very interesting. Go and let Frightwig get your panties into a righteous twist. DAVE SEGAL – Seattle Stranger

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